From the creator of the sensation Postmodern Jukebox--with millions of fans globally--comes an inspirational memoir about discovering what you love and turning it into a creative movement.
With student loan debt piling up and no lucrative gigs around the corner, Scott Bradlee found himself in a situation all too familiar to struggling musicians and creative professionals, unsure whether he should use the little income he had to pay his rent or to avoid defaulting on his loans. It was under these desperate circumstances that Bradlee began experimenting, applying his passion for jazz, ragtime, and doo wop styles to contemporary hits by singers like Macklemore and Miley Cyrus--and suddenly an idea was born.
Today, Postmodern Jukebox--the rotating supergroup devoted to period covers of pop songs, which Bradlee created in a basement apartment in Queens, New York--is a bona fide global sensation, having collected more than three million subscribers on YouTube while selling out major venues around the world and developing previously unknown talent into superstar singers. From its Etta James-inspired rendition of Radiohead's "Creep" to its New Orleans jazz interpretation of Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass," the group has established a sound like no other, crafting hits as exquisitely sublime as they are humorously absurd.
But it wasn't always as easy as the YouTube videos make it look. As he worked to establish Postmodern Jukebox, Bradlee struggled through the obstacles that every self-employed artist or entrepreneur with a vision faces: how to collaborate successfully on teams with divergent visions, how to outrun the naysayers, how to chase the next innovation when your reputation makes others start to pigeonhole you, and so many of the other challenges lining the path to success.
Taking readers through the false starts, hilarious backstage antics, and unexpected breakthroughs of Bradlee's journey from a lost musician to a musical kingmaker --and presenting all the entrepreneurial insights he learned along the way--Outside the Jukebox is an inspiring memoir about how one musician found his rhythm and launched a movement that would forever change our relationships to our favorite songs.
This entertaining memoir by music impresario Bradlee tells of his rise from jobless musician drowning in student loan debt to successful entrepreneur. Bradlee grew up in rural New Jersey, finished high school in the bottom half of his class with especially poor grades in science, and realized that "to get accepted to any decent college... I would have to apply with a declared major in music." He ended up at the Hartt School at the University of Hartford then moved to New York City, where, for a decade, he performed and taught piano. By 2008, he was making ends meet but "artistically, I was suffering." Deciding to shift gears and work toward a traditional college degree in, of all things, science, Bradlee applied and was accepted to Hunter College. On a whim, he recorded himself playing piano and posted the video on YouTube, and the next phase of his life began. In 2009, he released "Hello My Ragtime '80s" featuring a mix of ragtime-style piano interpretations of 1980s pop hits; in 2012, he added "A Motown Tribute to Nickelback"; and in 2013, he rose to fame with his music collective, Postmodern Jukebox, a rotating group of musicians who perform jazz, ragtime, and doo-wop covers of contemporary hits. Their YouTube channel currently has over 3.4 million subscribers. Throughout, Bradlee regularly shifts from memoir to something of a self-help tone ("You have to think of yourself as the thing you want to be long before other people think of you as that"). Anyone eager to know more about the man behind the music will want to pick this up.